For Serious Dog Walkers, Festival Goers or Extreme Outdoor He Man Workers! You need GULPZ – Hi Visibility, Hydration and Cooling All in One. Get them before the next heat wave, hurricane or whatever extreme weather comes your way.
Dehydration and heat stress are partners in crime. Staying hydrated on the jobsite is an absolutely essential for outdoor workers trying to prevent heat stress. Hydration is a key component to workplace safety when summer rolls around.
Fluids keep the cooling system of the body working properly. Electrolyte beverages are extremely good at hydration. Products like Gatorade and Sqwincher replace valuable minerals lost when you sweat. So, making sure that there are plenty of electrolytes on the jobsite is a good idea. And heat exhaustion can sneak up on you, so make sure that you chug the electrolytes before you start feeling thirsty.
Really, taste is a big way to determine the electrolyte beverage that’s right for you. Gatorade contains 110mg of sodium, 30mg of potassium and about 50 calories (8-oz serving). Sqwincher has 47mg of sodium, 53mg of potassium, and 65 calories (8-oz serving). Their both good choice for workplace hydration.
Sometimes you need to bring fluids with you when wandering around a large construction site or road project. This is when a hydration backpack comes in handy. The convenient hydration pack stores up to 70 ounces of water that you wear on your back, kind of like your own personal reservoir. A drinking tube with a bite valve makes spill free drinking possible. The water backpack even comes in a high visibility style.
It doesn’t matter how you hydrate, just make sure you do. Dehydration breeds heat exhaustion and heat stroke, serious workplace safety concerns. Drink up!
Lead containment and the EPA RRP (Renovation, Repair and Painting) rule come to forefront during spring construction season. It’s a good idea to know what you need to do to be EPA compliant.
Remember that book that came out in the 1990s called “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People”? Well, our “Seven Steps to RRP” is kind of like that, only different. Front and center on Certified Renovator Store is our easy-to-follow list of the seven steps you need to take to help ensure compliance with the lead rule. The steps start with learning how to test for lead paint using a D-Lead Lead Test Paint Kit and end with proper lead removal and safe lead paint clean up.
The EPA also has a downloadable booklet outlining the EPA RRP rule. Lead paint removal doesn’t have to be a difficult or dangerous process, but you have to make sure you use a certified lead paint test kit, outfit your workers with the proper PPE, and follow proper procedures during clean up.
Certified Renovator Store has the supplies needed for every step of EPA RRP compliance. We were among the first to recognize that the RRP rule would likely have an impact on construction contractors when the rule came out in 2010. And we’re still here to make sure renovation contractors have the tools they need to be both safe and EPA compliant.
Now get out there and start renovating!
Every morning, right after coffee and before I roll up my sleeves and get to work, I check for the latest safety news and notes. Today, Occupational Health & Safety posted an article about ANSI/ISEA 201-2012, the new voluntary standard for classifying insulated apparel in cold work environments. Umm, when you run websites called eSafetyStore and ColdWeatherWorkwear, standards like this are of definite interest.
My response to the standard was two-fold. First, I was thrilled to see a standard that helps cold weather workers choose the right cold weather gear. Second, I was a little exasperated by the fact that this is yet another standard that we need to memorize from top to bottom (we at eSafetyStore are standards geeks, and we don’t rest until we can recite them in our sleep).
ANSI/ISEA 201-2012 is well intentioned. It outlines a way for workwear to be classified based on its ability to keep the wearer warm. It also informs just how long those insulating properties are likely to last, and how many washings the garment can withstand. It also outlines what cold weather workwear choices are ideal depending upon the job and the weather expected.
The standard creates six “performance categories”:
- Performance Category 1: Apparel that can serve as an outermost layer in mild conditions or as an insulating inner layer in extreme conditions. Examples: a shell with a fabric liner, windbreakers, heavyweight sweatshirts, and thin fleece jackets.
- Peformance Categories 2-4: Medium to heavyweight outerwear that likely includes an insulated lining (either sewn-in or removable). Examples: insulated jackets, insulated coveralls, insulated parkas.
- Performance Categories 5-6: Heavily insulated cold weather workwear. Intended for long-term exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Examples: heavy winter parkas, insulated pants, freezer wear coveralls, expedition suits, insulated coveralls.
We get at least 14,576 calls every winter from outdoor workers unsure of just how much protection they need from their hi vis bomber or reflective parka. The standard should answer those very questions. Guidelines for cold weather protection are ideal, but workers need to remember that there are a few other factors to consider when choosing hi vis winter gear (which we deal with a lot), or cold weather workwear in general. One huge factor is the type of work being done. Joe, the guy sitting in the Bobcat all day, isn’t going to generate the same body heat as Steve, who works up a sweat digging trenches. Metabolism plays into cold weather gear as well. Chuck, who tips the scales at 310 pounds will likely have a decidedly different reaction to the cold than Sarah, who weighs in at a scant 110.
Picking the right cold weather jacket or insulated bib overalls has a lot of variables. When we’re on the phone with customers looking for hi vis outerwear or a new reflective jacket for the jobsite, we try to include every factor to help the worker choose what will work best. ANSI/ISEA 201-2012 should certainly make our job easier.
We’re not sold on Vinatronics’ products just because they’re made in the USA. We’re sold on Vinatronics because they make high quality safety apparel in the USA.
I don’t have to inform anyone of the rough road the U.S. economy has endured for the past couple of years (my apologies to those who’ve lived off of the grid in a log cabin in a remote portion of Montana and missed that whole recession thing).
At eSafetyStore we’re clearly in favor of economic recovery. One way to help is by buying products that are made in America, keeping U.S. dollars at home. That’s why we’re a big fan of Vinatronics. The Seattle-based company doesn’t just make run-of-the-mill hi vis apparel in the United States, Vinatronics makes high-quality hi vis apparel. The safety apparel made by Vinatronics might have a slightly higher price tag than cheap imports, but you’re paying for quality and durability as well as the peace of mind that comes from buying a “made in the U.S.A.” product. Vinatronics makes hi vis vests made with YKK zippers, name-brand Velcro and high-quality reflective tape, and they’ve crafted styles that are both comfortable and functional.
Case in point, the Vinatronics ANSI Class 2 Cruiser Vest. This surveyors vest is made from breathable but tough micro mesh. It has seven pockets, including a large back survey pocket that holds just about anything. The hi vis safety vest has a snap front and reinforced black webbing. And Vinatronics doesn’t skimp on reflective tape, they use quality 3M Scotchlite reflective tape.
One of the newests vest by Vinatronics is the 99363 FR modacrylic mesh hi vis vest. It is made from soft and comfortable flame resistant modacrylic, and it has an ATPV of 5.5 cal/cm², which means it meets Hazard Risk Category 1 (HRC 1). It has a dielectric zipper front, four pockets, and a mic tab on the shoulder. Many flame resistant and arc rated safety vests are stiff and uncomfortable, but not this one. It is pliable and comfortable, and again, made in America.
Vinatronics also produces a wide range of ANSI Class 3 Bomber Jackets and reflective Parkas, high visibility T shirts, hi vis Sweatshirts, arc-rated clothing, FR clothing, and even Public Service Safety Vests.
We’re not sold on Vinatronics just because they’re made in the USA. We’re sold on Vinatronics because they make quality safety apparel in the USA.
When the EPA’s RRP (Renovation, Repair and Painting) rule came out in 2008, we weren’t entirely sure how it would be received. Lately, with the spring building season around the corner, we’ve seen a sizable uptick in traffic and business at Certified Renovator Store.
That’s right. It appears to us (we admit our research isn’t overly scientific) that quality, well-respected renovators and contractors are buying the gear needed to comply with the EPA ruling. Products like caution tape, safety glasses, protective coveralls, tacky mats and plastic sheeting sat on our shelves during the winter, but suddenly there’s demand for them. This is all a good thing, because boxes of polypropylene coveralls and large HEPA vacs take up a whole lot of warehouse space. We really can’t use dozens of particulate masks or lead paint test kits, and those rolls of plastic are ridiculously heavy.
We’re not really in the construction industry, but we do notice when we start getting orders for stuff we don’t sell much of during the winter. That leads us to believe (again, we’re not very scientific) that a number of people are indeed complying with the EPA’s RRP rule. Which is a good thing because we’ve got so much RRP stuff still in our warehouse that it’s been on clearance for months. We also have a seven-step compliance list on Certified Renovator that we spent considerable time working on…we like to see it get some good use.
So we wish all of those builders out there complying with RRP a “happy building season”. Good luck, and stay safe.
Just last Friday I was writing about ice traction cleats and the snowstorm bearing down on us in Wisconsin. Now, it’s 50 degrees and sunny outside.
Mother Nature’s indecision makes life difficult for those of us in the safety apparel business. We at EsafetyStore have had to shift our focus from ice traction cleats and reflective bomber jackets to hi vis windbreakers and reflective t-shirts in a matter of days. And it may be about time for Cold Weather Workwear to put the hi vis insulated jackets in storage, and bring out our warm weather outdoor work gear, like hard hat sun shades and sunscreen (both of which would be handy today).
We know a lot about the safety industry, but we aren’t meteorologists. We have to keep our eye on the forecast to make sure what’s on our sites is relevant. The strangest winter in recent memory has made it difficult for workers to choose the right outdoor workwear from day to day. I’m guessing that at some point soon hi vis rainwear will be en vogue. But I could be wrong. Mother Nature may have another surprise for us.
Snow in May? Let’s hope not.
This morning I read about Sam’s Club starting a wellness magazine, called Healthy Living Made Simple, that will be sent to 8 million members starting this month. Wellness is a pretty vague term, but I’m for any tips or articles that just might improve my health at least a little bit. (I espcially dig those “10 Things You Should Never Eat” articles, although I frequently forget what’s on the list a couple of days after reading.)
Preventative medicine is good medicine, and that’s what wellness programs are. From time to time (usually right after the indulgence of Christmas) we institute wellness rules at eSafetyStore. Those rules/guidelines are generally simple–no more cookies in the office, sanctions against chocolate, ramped up abundance of green tea, and a increase in morning smoothie production (we do have a blender in the break room).
Prevention should come easily to us and others in the industrial safety market. There are plenty of items in PPE and safety (hi vis gear, reflective jackets, signage, etc.) that are essentially designed to prevent workplace accidents and limit workplace hazards. So that’s really our wellness offering to others, our range of PPE.
Now it’s time for my morning oatmeal (donuts are banned from the office).
We deal with plenty of PPE, reflective clothing, flame-resistant outerwear, etc. Those are all just products and commodities. It’s always good to take a few minutes to remember who’s wearing the protective apparel we sell.
A normal day at Esafetystore usually involves fielding questions from individuals or companies looking for the right hi vis clothing, comfortable arc-rated coveralls, a good hard hat, or winter work wear that will keep workers warm in sub-zero temperatures. We’ve got plenty of safety experience, and we have answers to most of their questions. That’s it. We consult. We sell our customers the PPE or safety apparel that they need, and we move on to the next safety industry question.
But last week we had an interesting request. One that reminded us of the people out there wearing a hi vis Class 2 vest, or flame-resistant jacket. We had a client ask for a few imprinted hi vis seat belt covers. The imprint was a few words honoring a co-worker who had been killed in an automobile accident. We were struck by the gesture by the company, spending a little more to add the lettering and to remember the worker. Every time employees of this company get into a company truck they’re reminded of their co-worker, and they’re also reminded to put their seatbelt on…a simple safety measure.
We deal with plenty of PPE, reflective clothing, flame-resistant outerwear, etc. Those are all just products and commodities. It’s always good to take a few minutes to remember who’s wearing the protective apparel we sell. It’s not just polyester or FR cotton anymore when it’s being worn by someone who relies on it to keep them safe.
The more I read, the more fascinated I am by the goings on in Williston, North Dakota, a modern day boomtown sprung from the oil on the Bakken formation.
It started as vague interest because we at www.esafetystore.com and www.coldweatherworkwear.com provide safety apparel and winter workwear for oil field workers in Williston. But after hearing stories from those who’ve been to the oilfields and oilfield workers, it’s hard not to research more.
Unemployment isn’t a problem in Williston, but other issues have sprung up. Housing is extremely tough to find (the Walmart parking lot is a makeshift camping area), long-time residents have some resentment about the influx of new workers, and the town’s infrastructure isn’t necessarily capable of handling the added population.
There’s an amazing series of stories on CNN.com about life in Williston. I recommend reading the story of the modern day boomtown.
I read an article on Forbes.com the other day about two oil workers killed by flash fire while working on a oil well in North Dakota. The pair weren’t wearing flame-resistant clothing and an investigation of the incident is focusing on that fact.
FR clothing can be a lifesaver, but in severe flash fire cases workers would have to be covered in high-level gear for real protection. Flame-resistance is an interesting part of the safety industry. Sometimes it’s tough to understand, and the exact level of protection needed may not always be clear to workers.
We were talking about this at Esafetystore the other day and brought up FR treated safety vests. The level of protection offered by these is low-level at best. If someone shoots a roman candle at you, you’re probably going to be OK. But when exposed to serious flame or flash fire, you’re in trouble. Workers need to be informed of what kinds of FR clothing is out there, and what level of flame-resistant protection they need for the job.
The best insight of the Forbes article was a quote by Rick Laursen, who is the manager of health, safety and security for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers:
“Laursen said he believes the focus on any well fire investigation shouldn’t be on what clothes were worn, but on how the flammable mixture escaped into the atmosphere. The clothing is ‘what’s known as the last line of defense, and it really isn’t even a defense,’ Laursen said.”